Monson Holistic Industries cannabis cultivation facility faces mold issues

MONSON – Holistic Industries is battling a mold problem at a marijuana grow facility here that supplies cannabis to recreational and medical retailers.

Responding to employee complaints, the Monson Board of Health called for an immediate inspection of the 96 Palmer Road facility, along with state regulators.

The mold infestation did not compromise the safety of the plants, Holistic said in a statement to the Republican.

“No product was sold that did not meet state regulations,” the company said. “We had a few complaints about a product that smelled ‘different’. Once we identified the presence of mold in our facility, but that it had not compromised plant safety, we assumed that some of the odor from the facility was transferred to the product or the environment. ‘packaging. It was at this point that we proactively added the additional quality assurance (quality assurance) processes of sensory and visual inspections, removing any lots that did not meet our standards.

The company, which has retail operations in Easthampton and Springfield, added that it was “aware of any obligations, if any, to report this to our partner state agencies and take appropriate action.”

“It is important to note that federal safety agencies, such as (Occupation Safety and Health Administration) and (Centers for Disease Control), have not identified any level of mold for a” safe “or” dangerous “building. In addition, we have consulted with environmental science experts and have been assured that the mold in our facility does not pose a threat to human health. However, all who work in our facility are and have been required to wear face coverings since early March 2020. “

The company disputes “inaccurate” claims by employees, in documents sent this week to Monson officials, that Holistic officials “have been at a standstill for months and have not conveyed any action plans to employees on the job. Monson site. They did not follow up on the strong recommendations of industrial hygienists.

“We had a power outage at our facility over Christmas in 2020 causing a high humidity event,” Holistic said. “We had anticipated that a few lots might have been affected, so we have been monitoring the situation closely. “

The company added, “In June, a report of a pervasive odor in the facility prompted us to investigate. We identified confined areas in the facility where mold was present and began to implement a remediation strategy. “

Employees at the Monson Culture Facility sent photographs and documents regarding the operation to city officials earlier this week.

According to employees who asked not to be identified, the documents include photos of mold patches inside the facility and an investigation report the company paid for with tests documenting a mold problem in the facility. certain areas of the installation.

Holistic told the Republican that Monson officials “were not the only ones to receive part of a third-party inspection report prepared by EnviroMed Services. Apparently, it was released widely by an unknown source. This was not the complete report and we understand that the document you and / or others received may have included an additional cover page inaccurately naming the leaders and making inaccurate statements.

At a Monson board of health meeting on Wednesday evening, the board determined that employee reports contained “credible evidence” and asked city administrator Jennifer Wolowicz to help them resolve the issue and d ” involve the state Cannabis Control Commission.

The commission declined to comment on the Monson facility, saying, “In general, the agency takes seriously the health and safety of patients and consumers who purchase products from licensed facilities, and the agents who employ them. Commission staff will continue to conduct scheduled and unannounced inspections of marijuana establishments and medical marijuana processing centers, including routine compliance checks and voter complaint investigations. “

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